Gorge concertgoers rack up huge local hospital bill

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GORGEQUINCY — Gorge Ampitheatre concertgoers suffering from everything to dehydration to drug overdose all go to the same place — Quincy Valley Medical Center.

For a small country hospital, it racks up a lot in unpaid medical bills. According to Quincy Valley Medical, 20 percent of its bad debt — more than $400,000 a year — is from Gorge patrons who skip out on their hospital bills. And now, they want the Gorge to pay up.

According to The Quincy Valley Post-Register, the hospital is asking Live Nation, owner and operator of the Gorge, to help ease the burden by adding an additional ticket tax or fee to help cover medical costs.

This comes after last June’s Paradiso Festival, when the hospital was overwhelmed with 123 emergency patients from the concert during the four-day electronic music festival.

According to hospital sources, Live Nation representatives have not been supportive of tacking on additional ticket fees. Quincy and George have the unique problem of being rural communities with a major national concert venue in their backyard. Because of the strain on local resources, the community is demanding more support from Live Nation.

One thing is for sure — with venue improvements on the horizon, extended concert runs like this year’s Sasquatch Music Festival and expansion plans to bump up it’s current capacity of 22,000, the problems at the Gorge aren’t going away anytime soon.

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